In light of a recent copyright violation by a gaming website that decided to claim my character “Shadowmere” as being part of some kind of game, I must stipulate that my black unicorn character “Shadowmere” is an original character of mine created in 2001 for my own original fiction efforts and has nothing to do whatsoever with any kind of role playing games. The origins of my character “Shadowmere” are explained in this article.
Shadowmere – Bio Card
A picture of the Black Unicorn – Shadowmere – This is actually a 2010 rework of an original drawing I did of Shadowmere from 2004.
Shadowmere – Bio Info
Biographical Info and the Origins of the Character Follow
Sex: Male – Unicorn Stallion
Race or Creature Type:
Unicorn(Unicorns in my fiction, though looking like horses, are a race of intelligent, sentient beings.)
19 hands (from front hooves to shoulders) roughly around 6′ – Shadowmere’s measurements and size are roughly that of a fully grown male Clydesdale horse.
Unknown. Est. 1800-1900lbs
Unknown – Said to be at least 3-4000 years old. His age and origins are unknown.
Divine Servant, Watcher, Guardian
Serves only the Creator, Iysus, God.
I drew this picture of Shadowmere, then imposed him against a composite image created from photos I took at a local park.
(In light of recent legal concerns, having to issue a DMCA notice against an infringing website, I could not only produce the original pencil drawings of this artwork, but the actual photos used to create the composite scene!)
Basic “background sketch”
Shadowmere is of the sentient race of Unicorns in my story. Little is known about him, and very few people have spent any real time around him. He is elusive and mysterious in nature and actual sightings of him are so rare he is often dismissed as being a myth – it would like someone in the real world claiming they saw “Bigfoot”. There are individuals fortunate enough to have had encounters with him. The most noted one is the story of the Great Flood of Eethos – he was said to have been aboard the Ark with Noahkhi – the man who feared God and was place aboard the Ark with his family to escape the flood. The “Bible” of Eethos makes a mention or two of Shadowmere’s encounters. Because of this, many of the present day believe Shadowmere was a unicorn that lived “once upon a time” and that he doesn’t exist anymore. In spite of it all- Shadowmere’s rumours and legends have been popular among commonfolk, old and young alike for many generations. It is not uncommon for children to want to dress up as “Shadowmere” for occasions requiring costumes.
Teachers of the Sacred Texts and philosophical scholars of Eethos generally regard Shadowmere as a figure of the Sacred Texts and of Eethoian Mythology, and not an actual creature who exists in the present day. There is the famous story of the scholar who actually encountered Shadowmere but instead of inform his other scholars (due to fear of ridicule and rejection based on the “popular” doctrines about Shadowmere, the discovery of the scholar’s writings about his encounters with the legendary beast did not surface until long after his death, as found in his diary in his estate by his family and friends. In the world of Eethos, Shadowmere is a famous source of inspiration for artists and poets alike. But since little is known about his actual appearance, the artistic works vary. However, they all depict a mighty black unicorn that appears in the dead of night. Some of them depict him as a dark and frightful creature. That is the dark side of the Shadowmere Legend- some believe him to be an evil beast and a daemon, and an encounter with him will spell certain doom for the unfortunate victim.
Shadowmere in reality is a fair and gentle, wise beast who is benevolent in his dealings and actions. He does allow the occasional living soul a chance to know him. But since he desires worship of the Almighty and not himself, he keeps such encounters to a minimum, but he only allows people to know he exists and that he is not the scary, evil creature some fear him to be. Shadowmere can also be a quite happy and playful individual as a unicorn in spite of his age and demeanor. (“all work and no play…”) But he takes seriously the role given him. He watches those whom God would have him watch over. And he prays for the souls of people he encounters both good and evil. In spite of the worst rumours about him, Shadowmere has never harmed a living soul. In the story as written, Nyrva Dragonwood is one individual who has one of those rare encounters with Shadowmere. But to dispel many rumors and misconceptions about himself, Shadowmere, in the books Nyrva Dragonwood appears in allows himself more extensive encounters with living souls so that new stories about him can be told, and some of the old rumors put to rest. Nyrva’s immense love and fondness of unicorns is one factor that compels him to giver her a rather extensive set encounters with himself. But he rarely bothers with scholars- just like the one mentioned- none of them ever use the opportunities he has given them. Many of them are quick to dismiss them with their own sets of “learned reason”.
The black unicorn Shadowmere – one of my original characters. A recurring side character in my fantasy.
I drew him in pencil and photoshop. His pose was inspired by similar pose of a horse doctored up as a unicorn in a book by horse photographer Robert Vavra. (His books provide great references for drawing both horses and unicorns.)
The moon-bow was something inspired one night as I was walking home with a full moon and saw a full moon in the sky with a full moon-bow. So I decided to create one for mood in this drawing but of course, there’s nothing like seeing the real thing.
Photoshop was used for the background.
ORIGINS OF THE CHARACTER
Shadowmere originated back in 2001 when I wanted to come up with some unicorn characters. He was originally a neutral character, neither “good or bad” and he orginally was so mysterious it was not possible to know anything about him. Original drafts of the parts of my story where he appears depicted him as a frightful creature people were afraid of. But that was toned down to just him being a mysterious black unicorn stallion. Unicorns in my story, while not “magical” as they are in most stories are Divine servants of God. So any powers they have are “given” them “from Above”. Thus Shadowmere would have to be a good guy by nature.
Shadowmere’s name was inspired by one of my all time favourite computer role playing games that was out on the old Apple II computers in the late 1980s, “Wrath of Denethenor” - the use of the name is an “omage” to “Wrath of Denethenor” and is the name of the city you visit in the game to find the doorway to Mystenor- the mystic dark land where you take on and finally defeat the evil wizard Denethenor.
Even though my unicorn’s name is borrowed from a game, my character itself has nothing to do whatsoever with any kind of game; unless I decide to create my own game based on my fiction some time in the future, or license someone else to do it. “Any resemblance to any other character of similar name or appearance Is purely coincidental”. My character “Shadowmere” is not a standing “property” in and of itself, but it simply a character in my fiction and that I draw, and then he is a supporting or secondary character at that, who makes some appearances in the story I am writing.
(I always wondered if “Denethenor” was borrowed from “Denthenor” of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy? But I wish someone would make a PORT of this to the Macintosh or the Playstation 2! Serious! That is an all time favourite game! If I ever win the lottery I’m going to approach some people about acquiring some “rights” and hire the original game creator as a chief consultant and director! Imagine it as a 3D high end fantasy RPG that plays like a first person shooter (perhaps in the playing style of “Grand Theft Auto” or “Kingdom Hearts”) And this time add a spell that lets you throw those damn wizards like they do to you on there! haha!~ But anyways. And I still love to rob every vault I see on there! haha!)
About the same time the development of my fiction was underway, I had also rediscovered my love of drawing and cartooning. And while my skills at the time were rather shoddy at best I have spent well over a decade working on development. But because I work full time I could not spend more than a few hours a week on this new hobby- and to this day this has not changed. So I do the best I can with the time I have available. But as a result of my growing and changing drawing skills, Shadowmere was another character that underwent many developmental changes. But he was always a black unicorn. There is a limited amount of artwork of Shadowmere available because I always found him to be a difficult character for me to draw – an all black unicorn from horn to hoof- and I wanted him to look a certain way. My first drawings of Shadowmere began to surface along with my first writings about him in 2002.
In spite of other galleries I may have on the web, this is the OFFICIAL website page for this character! All other information can be quickly dismissed. This page contains artwork and all information currently available about the character.
Plot synopsis ©1997-2011 and beyond by J.Williams, all rights reserved and this may not be used in any way without express written permission.
Shadowmere has several encounters with the protagonist Nyrva Dragonwood, a female wood elf who is extremely fond of Unicorns. And they know it too. Despite the fact that she comes from a tribe of elves already on high the “endangered species” list, she literally risks her very life in the story for a rare opportunity to meet the Unicorns, including the mighty Shadowmere, in their own forbidden homeland; the Valley of the Unicorns itself.
Characters, art and plot synopsis © by J. Williams. All rights strictly reserved. Unauthorized use is a violation of all copyright laws.
In light of a recent copyright violation and theft of intellectual property by a gaming website which is attempting to represent my character as belonging to some kind of roleplaying game and giver credit for my work to persons other than myself, I feel it necessary to state the following:
The Black Unicorn SHADOWMERE as depicted on this website, as well as any pages on the website oslaania.net is my own original character and IS NOT PART OF ANY GAME NOR IS HE INTENDED TO BE A REFERENCE OF ANY KIND TO ANY GAME. He is part of my own original fiction created in 2001, and is not to be confused with any other medium. Any resemblance or similarity to any other such property is purely coincidental.
The name of the offending website is not being disclosed. The page bentobox.oslaania.net has been an inactive directory for well over a year. This image Is currently being housed at one of the site’s generally unpublished archive locations. “Nick” decided to use it to promote some game. Thanks a lot “Nick”, you never asked anyone at this website if you could use the picture!
Statement of Origin and Legal Basis Regarding Shadowmere Character:
Regarding the origins of the character Shadowmere, as depicted and represented on both Oslaania.net and Nyrva.org
The character “Shadowmere” as depicted on both Oslaania.net and Nyrva.org is an original character created and initially developed by the owner of these websites as early as 2001. Actual artwork of this character can be documented as early as 2005 with legally registered copyright of said artwork in 2007 with the United States Copyright Office. The registration includes artwork of a black unicorn stallion under the name of “Shadowmere” under said copyright. Shadowmere, as depicted on these websites, is a black male unicorn stallion, and not a horse or brown mare, and is also a supporting character for a novelization that has been in the works for over a decade. The major reason it has taken so long Is because of the amount of time it has taken to develop the characters as well as the back story, and the novelization itself has undergone several rewrites. There are currently no plans to change or omit this character from the planned novelization. He has also been a part of the creator’s online presence since 2007 on various websites including Oslaania.net established in 2010. Shadowmere has also appeared on Oslaania.net’s predecessor site “swarmingspirits.net” and other sites used by his creator as far back as 2007. Those sites and galleries however are no longer in use.
This might seem like a lame title for a post but I’m not sure what else to use. The new direction of Nyrva.org is now a character/art dBase and site about my original characters – namely my fictional character Nyrva Dragonwood for whom the site is named, and her fellow related characters, plus any crossovers, etc. I also will use Oslaania.net for that as well but Oslaania.net covers other hobbies too – this site is solely about my characters.
I wanted to talk somewhat on here about my characters in contrast to other fantasy.
I use terms like Wood Elves, Forest Elves etc. I call my characters “elves” – but my elves are not magical at all. They are elves but they are just beings – a humanoid race in my fiction, with no magical abilities. My use of terms such as “Wood Elf” and “Forest Elf” etc. has nothing to do with magic either – but more tribal, clan type stuff. Much similar to the kind of names used in the “Shire” of the Hobbits in the “Lord of the Rings” books, or perhaps like tribes and clans of old in real life countries like Ireland and Scotland.
Example – Nyrva Dragonwood is of the “Dragonwood” elf tribe – one of seven Wood Elf tribes of the country of Oslaania. If her tribe is wiped out, if all the “Dragonwood” die, say by genocide – one tribe is eliminated- if the other six also die, there are no more “Wood” elves- they become extinct. They are not a race in the same sense they are in other fantasy fiction – it is a name/tribal identity issue.
That is actually the case in the story I’m writing – many “Wood Elves” such as Nyrva have been killed by the Dark Elves of an opposing country called Archania in a largely religious and political war against the country of Oslaania – inquisition. Nyrva’s tribe, the “Dragonwood” are near extinction, as are other “Wood Elf” tribes. Two of the seven Wood Elf tribes are already believed to be fully extinct – fully destroyed by the Dark Elves of Archania who have heavily targeted the Wood Elves especially – and especially the females believing the females are the key to the race and that if you destroy the females, the race will die.
The “Wood Elves” of my story actually descend from the “Forest Elves” and as such are a “daughter” race – it’s members are considered “cousins” of the “Forest Elves”.
Nyrva Dragonwood, 2009 – Dragonwood elf tribe, female Wood Elf. the protagonist of my fiction.
For Nyrva’s “crime” of being a “Wood Elf” and the child of “heretics”, The Dark Elves of Archania would love to destroy her at any cost along with any other Wood Elves they encounter. The Archanians will not stop until every single Wood Elf is dead.
Because the Forest Elves are still so strong in number and allies of the Wood Elves in addition to kindred folks of the Wood Elves – they have taken the remnants of the Wood Elves among their own ranks. Of course this would eventually have to lead to war if the Archanians want to kill the Wood Elves who have come under protection.
Nyrva however starts out living among Felinians – a race of cat-eared people – her quest is to find any surviving members of her family and other Dragonwood elves that may still live.
This is a more “impromptu” pencil drawing I did of Nyrva. I may explore this avenue more with other characters – was going for a more “realistic” style drawing rrather than “Anime” – wanted to try and imagine what she might look like in a more realistic style.
There is the scene in the novel of Nyrva Dragonwood naked and defeated, laying at the base of the steps leading to the ruins of her long lost elf tribe, the Dragonwood Elves – sat this point she has been attacked by thieves but not harmed. However she has been drugged and stripped bare naked and robbed of everything she has; money, clothes, food, provisions, etc. Not wanting to risk anything above charges for theft, they do not rape or harm Nyrva’s body apart from merely drugging her with a weaponized, but non-lethal form of “Elfsbane”. The thugs simply use the substance to put Nyrva to sleep for awhile to prevent her from resisting them. She wakes up laying naked in the forest 5 days from home, forced to walk home in this condition. She would have to scrounge for food and water along the way and figure out ways to find suitable shelter a night.
(Elfsbane - is a sedative made from the sap of an Elfberry tree used for insomnia – or in a more “weaponized” form in this case can work like chloroform and in a way that will temporarily render an elf unconscious. can be ingested, inhaled or injected as with a syringe or a dart – it is not poisonous except in very highly prolonged concentrated dosages – high overuse, generally it is only a sedative – it is called Elfsbane because it only works on Elves. Humans and Felinians only seem to become temporarily intoxicated or “high” as in a marijuana high, on the substance. Thus they seek it for more “recreational” purposes. This is a problem for Elves when Humans or Felinians choose to “smoke” tobacco products laced with it. Elfsbane is not known to be poisonous when used in reasonable amounts by members of any race, including Elves suffering from a sleepless night — the most common purpose for the medicine used by Elves..)
“Anime-style” cel design of my character Raiya Dragonwood – the young female wood elf sister of Nyrva Dragonwood. The age equivalent of a 9-10 year old human girl. Raiya is still a young child growing up in a dangerous world. The Archanians would still brutally butcher her if they got half the chance, sparing neither age or sex.
Raiya is the baby sister of Nyrva. The two sisters were separated during a raid by Archania. Each believes the other was killed but still hopes and prays to God that if there is a chance – to bring them back together again. Raiya is protected and raised by Forest Elves, kept safe in their village – and I don’t bring the sisters together for quite some time in the book – actually I’m not going to reveal here if I bring them together at all. I have considered however a separate book for Raiya showing what happens to her – especially if I do decide to reunite the two sisters.
Nyrva Dragonwood gazing heavenward towards God.
My story is not a religious story in and of itself but there are some questions of faith among the characters. Some of my writing has been an elaborate roleplay using real life questions placed into the lives of my characters. Questions of right and wrong, good and evil, faith in God, etc. I figure people ask these questions for real so I decided to have some of this in my story as well.
There are at least two books planned featuring Nyrva – one is a collection of short story adventures of her’s during her hidden years in exile featuring this situation. The second is a singular story adventure where she actively tries to find her people.
Nyrva Dragonwood – Skyward Gaze 2010
A redo of a drawing from 2005 of Nyrva Dragonwood looking to heaven praying to God in her mind. The name of the Messiah, Iysus – in the Elfin tongue. He came to Eethos nearly 1700 Yaar ago to redeem those who would believe on Him – He was the Son of God. On Earth He would be known as “Jesus”.
Nyrva lives in the world of Eethos – a world that in many ways parallels Earth, with its own Moses, “Christ” (Iysus). it’s own Nero, Caligula, Constantine, Galileo, and Napoleon type figures, and the list goes on. They may not go under those names, but the same kinds of people have come and gone and done the same kind of things as on Earth. And now Nyrva finds herself in the midst of her own “Reformation Era” of which her own people, the Wood Elves of Oslaania, have come to fully embrace, and against the wishes of the Church City State of Vatacanus ruled by the self-prclaimed “Holy Pontiff” and the Country of Archania, read the forbidden “Sacred Texts” (the book that reveals the truth about God and shakes the power of the aforementioned “Church State”) and must choose to believe in Iysus, and face death as a “heretic” by the Dark Elves of Archania who constantly invade her country of Oslaania to force their own religious and political views on their land, or else submit to them and sell out her soul, and betray her own blood and people.
Nyrva chooses not to betray her beliefs.
Either way the Dark Elves would not care. They would still want to spill Nyrva’s blood – and the blood of all of her people for reading the “Sacred Texts”, embracing “Iysus” and rejecting the power of Vatacanus. The Wood Elves believe Iysus will one day return to restore Glory and Life to the fallen who believe in Him, avenge their blood, and destroy evil forever.
And we close for now. More drawings and character descriptions as well as character profile pages are on the way.
Nyrva.org is now the new character and art dBase for Nyrva Dragonwood and other related characters of mine. Art characters and art © by me. All rights strictly reserved.
Until next time…